Makeup Brushes - Natural, Synthetic and Taklon Fibers

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How to choose makeup brushes depending on their natural, synthetic or taklon fibers.

We can spend quite a bit of time and money figuring out what type of makeup is better for us, which colors go with our skin tone, and if we care more about the price or the brand. And then we end up applying the makeup with sub-standard brushes or with our fingertips, which can ruin the whole effect.

Makeup brush fibers can be either natural made from animal hair or synthetic fibers such as nylon or Taklon. Both of them have a place in makeup collections, depending on the type of cosmetic being applied. In some cases, cost will be the primary concern.

Natural fibers come from animals, of which the softest and most expensive is Squirrel Hair followed by Sable Hair. The most common fiber used is Goat Hair and can be the best in terms of price and quality. The term Camel Hair refers to a combination of Squirrel, Goat or Pony Hair and can have a lower price, in this case check with the sales clerks in order to get more information on the brushes before purchasing.

Because of the natural fiber texture, these brushes are ideal to apply powder based cosmetics like bronzers, blushes, face powders and eye shadows. They also require less product and tend to apply the powders evenly giving you a professional, flawless look.

Synthetic makeup brushes are made of nylon, which is less absorbent than natural hair fibers. Because they are less absorbent, synthetic brushes are typically used for applying liquid-based products. Synthetic brushes typically do not last as long as natural fiber brushes. Avoid purchasing powder, blush or eyeshadow brushes made from synthetic fibers since they will be rougher on your skin and won't apply the powders evenly.

Another synthetic fiber in the market is Taklon which is designed to have anti-bacterial qualities, as well as softness, versatility and durability. These brushes aim to substitute natural fibers and will typically be found with cruelty-free cosmetic companies. These brushes will tend to have a higher price, but if you are already investing in quality cruelty-free cosmetics, then Taklon is the way to go.

Regardless of the type of fiber selected, the best way to know which one is the best for you is to go to the store and feel the brushes against your skin, preferably on the back of your hand. It might be hard to decide once you feel the softness of the brushes, but the time you take will be worth it.


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